Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Press Release: Forest Hills Tree Giveaway Becomes A Tradition


Another Blooming Tree Giveaway At MacDonald Park on May 19, 2013

Contact: Preservationist Michael Perlman
Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance

Facebook page, "Forest Hills Tree Giveaways" - https://www.facebook.com/ForestHillsTreeGiveaways

Tree Giveaway Flyer & Photos: http://bit.ly/May2013FHtreegiveaway  

   QUEENS, NY (May 13, 2013) --  A growing tradition in the heart of Forest Hills is the  Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance’s Tree Giveaway Event. On Sunday, May 19 from 1 PM – 3 PM, citywide residents will line up in MacDonald Park on Queens Boulevard and 70th Avenue, and adopt one of six unique species among 200 trees, which adopters will take home and plant on private property. 

   This will be 4BNPA’s fourth tree giveaway since June 2011, which will bring its donations up to 645 trees. Years earlier, the 4BNPA had the sole mission of advocating for landmarks and curbing overdevelopment, but then realized how trees complement architecture, and are an important element in restoring our city’s historic landscapes. The New York Restoration Project began coordinating tree giveaways in 2008. Inspiration stemmed from the understanding that MillionTreesNYC was focused on greening public spaces, but private homes, apartment buildings, religious institutions, and community gardens also represent a great percentage of the city which merits tree-planting.

   This season, nearly 30 tree giveaway events are being coordinated, and 9 are being hosted in Queens. Therefore, New York City’s urban landscape will have approximately 4,500 new trees. Since the inception of tree giveaways, greater than 18,000 trees have been planted.

    Forest Hills Tree Giveaway Event Organizer and Preservationist Michael Perlman stated, "Many community residents did not realize the benefits of trees, until some of which were a century-old succumbed in seconds during the September 2010 macroburst, which was followed by Hurricane Irene in August 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Trees enhance a community’s aesthetics and property values, and most significantly contribute to its environmental sustainability."

   New York Restoration Project Community Initiatives Manager Mike Mitchell stated, “The trees we give away will clean our air and water, reducing run-off and filtering particulate matter from the air for generations. The value of a city’s urban forest will only increase as rainstorms become more severe and levels of particulate matter increase in our atmosphere.”

   Once again, MacDonald Park was selected as the event site to initiate memories relating to its value to the community since 1933, and shed light upon what is a “Central Park” to Forest Hills, which lost sixty mature trees during the tornado. The 4BNPA seeks to restore the “forest” factor in Forest Hills, as a case in point.  

   Trees available for adoption will consist of 50 Witch-Hazel, 50 Natchez Crape Myrtle, 25 Leonard Messel Magnolia, 25 Centennial Magnolia, 25 Persian Ironwood, and 25 Dawn Redwood. This will add to the more frequently planted trees throughout the city over the years, such as Oak, Maple, Sycamore, Honey Locust, and Gingko. 

1. Dawn Redwood - http://www.treegiveaways.com/53.pdf
2. Persian Ironwood - http://www.treegiveaways.com/55.pdf
3. Crape Myrtle ‘Natchez’ - http://www.treegiveaways.com/47.pdf
4. Magnolia ‘Leonard Messel’ - http://www.treegiveaways.com/50.pdf
5. Magnolia ‘Centennial’ - http://www.treegiveaways.com/49.pdf
6. Witch-Hazel - http://www.treegiveaways.com/18.pdf

    Tree giveaway events and adopted trees generate lasting memories. Mike Mitchell explained, “At 4BNPA’s giveaway last fall, there were triplets who were absolutely enamored with trees, and their parents were so excited to help them learn and to plant trees at their home. Each of the boys was able to adopt a tree. There is nothing I like to see more than young, intelligent people who exhibit genuine interest in our living world.”

    With hopes that each tree adopter will feel as if their tree is part of their extended family, volunteer Steve Goodman is designing tree adoption certificates. Trees will be named after local historic sites such as the Forest Hills Theatre, notable local figures such as Architect Grosvenor Atterbury and Helen Keller, and historic street names such as Roman Avenue (72nd Avenue) and Ascan Avenue, which will educate the public while granting the trees an identity. In addition to the 4BNPA, there will be volunteers from Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Trylon Vet Care, the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce, Forest Hills Jewish Center, Parker Towers, and Key Food. Tree-inspired artwork with poetry and slogans is expected to complement the tree giveaway site.  

  To make this event possible, Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance (4BNPA) is in partnership with New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and MillionTreesNYC. Toyota is a lead sponsor, American Express is a tree giveaway sponsor, and lead partners are NYRP, plaNYC, and NYC Parks. On May 19, those who wish to adopt a potted tree should line up before 1 PM at MacDonald Park. In advance, tree adopters may reserve their tree by visiting www.treegiveaways.com/4bnpa.php

In late April, volunteers Tara Levin, Steve Melnick, Michael Perlman, & City Council Candidate Jon Torodash (District 29) reserved trees for prospective adopters at a promotional table on Continental Avenue.


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